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Webley-Parry papers series 3

Acc. 2680

Ref: WP/3/1/1


Diary of Eliza Webley-Parry. [Dark brown notebook with marbled inside front cover]
22 July 1834 - 18 January 1845

Yearly summaries and calendar

Eliza’s account of 1834 begins in July, with Maria and Ellen [sisters of diarist] staying at Nantgwillt. In August, Eliza goes sea bathing at the seaside village of Llangrannog with her brother William, his wife Catherine and their children. In September, Eliza writes of visiting ‘Pengwbert’ [presumably at the costal hamlet of Gwbert, near Cardigan] with Ellen. The next month Eliza, Ellen and Maria all visit to the mansion of Pentre [Manordeifi, north Pembrokeshire]. Pentre was the home of the Davies family which Eliza’s elder brother William had united with their own when he married Catherine Angharad Sauders Davies in 1826. Whilst visiting Pentre the three sisters attend an evening supper and dance at the Coedmore estate, home of the Lloyd family. Later in October the three sisters visit Cardigan for the hunt week festivities with their friends Dr and Mrs Jones and the two Miss Philips of Hill.

In January Eliza and Ellen go to a ball at Mrs Oliver Lloyd’s in Cardigan. In February, Miss Brigstocke comes to stay at Noyadd. In March Maria and William Brigstocke of Blaenpant, Cardiganshire are married. For this occasion, Eliza’s journal reads: ‘Dear Maria married at Llandygwydd Church to William Brigstock, Augustus performed the ceremony. Papa & William, Catherine, Jane & Miss Brigstock present; Miss Lewis, Ellen and I bridesmaids.’ After the ceremony Maria and William leave for their honeymoon in Scotland and the Lake District, joined by Ellen. Whilst the wedding party are away, Eliza remains busy. In April she goes on a number of visits, including trips to the estates of Dolhaidd [Carmarthenshire] and Pentre [Manordeifi, north Pembrokeshire]. In June she and her sister-in-law take her niece to a dancing lesson in Cardigan. Whilst at Cardigan, she also fits in a diorama of ‘The Days Revolution 1830 in Paris’. In July Eliza writes that she and her mother go to ‘the Girls School meeting’ at Ponthirwaun. What they did at this meeting is unclear, however it is possible that they provided some form of charity for the school. Eliza then goes sea bathing at Newport with William and Catharine. When Maria and William return from their wedding tour, Eliza records that they settle at Blaen-Pant. Soon after, Eliza visits the couple and stays for a week. In October Eliza visits Coedmore again, this time with the Brigstockes. In October she goes to Cardigan for the Hunt Week where she sees Maria and William. Whilst at Cardigan she attends a ball at which there are 60 guests, and also watches a steeple chase. In November Eliza goes to Clynfyw [Pembrokeshire] with Maria. She also visits Dolhaidd [Carmarthenshire] again where she meets Mr and Mrs Pryse of Gogerddan and their three sons.

In March, Eliza goes to a ball at Mrs Lewis Evan’s house attended by 40 people. In the same month she and her friend Miss Lewis join a party of guests at Llangoedmore. In April, Ellen uses a Bath chair for her health and their niece Fanny dies at Moffat [a Scottish spa resort]. The next month, Eliza and Ellen go to Glanymor [north of Aberystwyth] for seabathing. In June, Eliza dines at Manian with Ellen and Mr and Mrs Hawkins visit them, as they are staying at Penrhyn Castle [in Cardiganshire, not Penrhyn Castle near Bangor]. In July Eliza returns from Glanymor to find Captain Griffiths is staying with the family. Between August and September Eliza and Ellen go to Aberystwth where they stay in lodgings on the Terrace and meet with Maria and William Brigstocke who are already there. Whilst staying at Aberystwyth they lunch at Gogerddan, attend three balls at the assembly rooms, watch a cricket match and female archery, visit Borth sands and dine at Nanteos. After returning home they visit the college at Lampeter and Eliza records that her pet swan is injured. On the 15th of September there is ‘Phrenology in the evening’. In October Captain Griffths leaves after three months of visiting. He sends presents of watches from Bath. In November Eliza is ill and Anne [Charles’s wife and Eliza’s sister-in-law] dies at Moffat.

In January Eliza’s father is promoted to Rear Admiral after 35 years as Post Captain. In February, Eliza visits Blaenpant where Sophie Buck is also staying. Eliza, Ellen and Maria all get influenza in March. In May, Eliza and Ellen go to a sale of Mr Spencer’s furniture at Llys Newydd. Maria and William visit Malvern and Leamington spas. Eliza records on the 1st of May that ‘Papa [William Henry Webley-Parry] and Mama [Maria Washington Webley-Parry] have been married 37 years this day’. Sadly, the Rear Admiral dies of apoplexy a month later, on the 30th of May, and is buried at Llandygwydd. Eliza finishes two silk canvasses in July, and in August, Eliza, Maria and children stay at Pengwbert. In September, Eliza returns home and she and Ellen go to the christening of David and Ellen Eliza at Cardigan Church. Ellen, Eliza and their mother have to leave Noyadd, which then becomes the residence of William (the eldest son and heir), Catherine, and their children. Eliza, Ellen and their mother move to the Priory Estate [Cardigan] and arrange their new home. In November, Eliza is ill for a few days and Ellen sprains her ankle. In December, Ellen visits Pencraig for two days and Charles drives Eliza and Chatty [their niece, daughter of Ann Webley Parry and Charles Hope] there for lunch.

Ellen, Eliza and the Buck family walk to view the slate quarries in January. In February, Eliza reports that they are having a severe winter, with snow three inches deep. March is the Hunt Week at Cardigan, but this time Eliza and family do not attend. Instead, they are visited by Dr and Mrs Jones, Eliza goes to a Steeple chase with Dr and Mrs Jones and then visits Noyadd and Blaenpant for a few days. In April, Charles and his three children visit Scotland by mail and steam. In May, Ellen and Eliza go to a furniture sale at Trevoyan and William has a sale of some of his farms in Pembrokeshire. In June, Eliza goes to stay at Pencraig and at Lancych [Pembrokshire] and in July Eliza walks with her mother almost to Mount and enjoys the ‘lovely sea view’. Eliza, Ellen and their mother stay at Pencraig in August, where Mr and Mrs Lloyd of Coedmore are also staying with their two eldest sons. In this month, the Bucks visit Aberystwyth where ‘Sophy came out at the Race balls’ and Catherine gives birth to a little boy at Noyadd. On the 26th of August the sisters ‘prepare for our move from the Priory’. In September Eliza reports the death of her 9-year-old parrot. On the 3rd of October, Eliza, Ellen and their mother go ‘to Trevorgan to take up our residence there’. The three of them visit Philips’ lodgings in Cardigan for the Hunt meeting, where they also see William and Maria. In the evening they all go to a ball. In November Eliza sees a ‘very good conjurer’ perform at the town hall and goes to a ball which 90 people attend. Towards the end of the year Eliza becomes ill. She develops a sore throat and is confined to bed. In December she has two blisters put on her throat and starts to feel better. They all go to Blaenpant for Christmas, where Sophy Buck is also staying.

In January, Eliza, Ellen and their mother return home from Trevorgan to the Priory Estate in Cardigan. Ellen remains unwell with a cough and chest pain. In February, Ellen is still ill and ‘obliged to keep in the house’, whilst outside there is a thick snow, five inches deep. In March, Eliza goes to Pentre [Manordeifi, north Pembrokeshire] for two days where she watches a ‘steeple chase’. Eliza also goes with Miss Lewis to Philips’ lodgings [Cardigan] to attend the ball where she is surprised to see ‘only 8 ladies there!’ In April, Ellen starts to recover, and is able to leave the house for the first time since Christmas. In May, Eliza records: ‘Heard of the resignation of Lord Melbourne’s administration, but Sir Robert Peel failed to form a ministry owing to the Queen not parting with her Ladies of the Bedchamber.’ In June, Ellen and her mother go to Noyadd, whilst Eliza embarks on a six-week summer tour with Maria and William Brigstocke. They start off at Carmarthen then visit Brecon and Abergavenny. From here they go on to Chepstow where they visit the castle and move onto Clifton, where they stay at the Bath Hotel. Whilst at Bristol, they visit the cathedral and Redcliffe church, where Eliza sees a painting of the crucifixion, for which William Brigstocke’s aunt had posed as one of the faces. After leaving Clifton the party walk the cliffs at Cheddar and go on to Dunster and Lynton. From here they visit the ‘Valley of Rocks’ on donkeys. After Lynton, the party go to Ilfracombe, which Eliza thinks a ‘pretty town’ and where she sees ladies bathing machine. The party then go to Plymouth, Dartmouth, Torquay, Dawlish, Sidmouth, Taunton, Bridgewater, Glastonbury, Wells and Bath. At Bath they attend a horticultural show at Sidney Gardens and visit the Abbey Church. After Bath, they go to Gloucester and Cheltenham. In August the party travel to Tewkesbury, Malvern, Ledbury, Hereford and finally Newcastle Emlyn before arriving home, where Eliza becomes ill. In September, Catherine gives birth to another child, Mary Elizabeth. In October, Caroline Willis of Cheltenham goes to stay with Sophy Buck, then Miss Willis and Eliza go to Philips’ lodgings for Hunt Week. In November, a new Scottish butler arrives at Blaenpant. Eliza, Ellen and their mother spend their Christmas at home, at the Priory Estate, Cardigan.

In January, Eliza visits Blaenpant with Sophy Buck. In March, Eliza visits Noyadd for a few days. Whilst there William goes to an all-day magistrates’ meeting about a murder and Eliza goes to a steeple chase with Sophie and Mrs Buck. In April, Eliza, Fanny Irby and John Brigstocke go away together to Benton [Pembrokeshire]. Whilst there, she goes sailing, visits Picton House, Tenby, Pembroke Castle, Langham (to see the oyster beds) and Benton Castle. In July, Eliza and Ellen are vaccinated by Mr Griffith ‘there being an alarm of smallpox in the neighborhood.’ In August, Eliza goes to Cardigan with the Miss Goers and to Glanymor [north of Aberystwyth.] She also attends the school meeting at Malgwyn. In October it is the Hunt Week and Maria and William Brigstocke come to stay. Eliza then goes to two evening balls in Cardigan where she stays at Philips’ lodgings with Sophie and Mrs Buck. She also goes to see a play at the town hall ‘The Soldier’s Daughter’. In November, Eliza sees her ‘nanny married to David of the Webley Arms’. In December, Mr Noot calls and removes one of Eliza’s teeth.

In January, Maria and William and the Buck family pay a short visit to stay with Eliza, Ellen and their mother. On one evening ‘the children dressed up & we had dancing and games’. Later in the month Eliza visits Cardigan. In February, Eliza’s mother becomes ill with a fever. The following month Eliza also becomes ill, firstly with influenza and then bronchitis. This affects her for six weeks. In April she writes: ‘I had my head shaved for the third time since my illness’. By May, Eliza is well enough to visit the Buck family at Parkygorse [Parc-y-gors, north west of Noyadd Trefawr and often used by the Webley-Parry family as the dower house]. In June, Eliza visits Pengwbert, where Mr. Pryse calls canvassing for Cardigan. On returning home Eliza notes ‘The Election at Cardigan. Mr. Pryse returned by a majority of 20.’ She also notes that William Brigstocke returns from visiting Leamington in order to vote for Pryse’s competitor, Mr Hereford. She also records the results. Mr. Hereford at Cardigan: 69, at Lampeter: 16. Mr Pryse, at Aberystwyth: 88, at Lampeter: 22. During July, Eliza has a wisdom tooth removed ‘a very bad one to draw.’ In August, Charles heard of Charlie’s appointment at the ‘Warspite’ as Midshipman, followed by his own appointment to the ‘Thalia’ commissioned at Portsmouth. In October, Eliza goes to Cardigan for the Hunt Week where she resides in Mr Noots’s lodgings. The next month Eliza, along with Sophy Buck, Miss Lewis, William Brigstocke and the two Miss Colbys, goes to stay at Coedmore. Eliza writes of visiting the castle at Malgwyn [Pembrokshire] during her stay.

In January, Miss Barber arrives from London to work as a governess for Anne Maria and Chatty [both daughters of Ann Webley Parry and Charles Hope, and therefore nieces to Eliza, Ellen and Maria]. The weather is bad and there is ‘a perfect hurricane of wind and rain’ which causes chimneys to be blown off. In February, Sophy comes to stay, Eliza visits ‘Gellydwyll’ [Gellidywyll] and Eliza, Ellen and their mother attend ‘a special meeting of the members of the Book Society’ about the forming of new rules. In April, Eliza’s mother visits Noyadd, after William falls whilst hunting. In this month, Maria and William visit Bath. In May, Anne Maria, Chatty, Miss Barber and Eliza all go to Edinburgh. They go via Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury and take a steamboat and railroad on their journey northwards. Eliza and her party remain in Edinburgh until July, during which time they visit the Botanical gardens, the Royal Institution and Holyrood Palace (where Eliza records seeing the blood stain left by David Rizzio, friend to Mary Queen of Scots, who was murdered at the Palace). In July the party leave Edinburgh for Moffat spa. In August, Eliza leaves Scotland for London, travelling by steamer, where she remains until mid-September. In September, she goes to see a show of Wild Beasts in Cardigan and in November she resides in Mr Noots’s lodgings in Cardigan for the Hunt Week. One day this week, she has a tooth out in the morning and attends a ball in the evening!

In January Eliza visits Blaen-pant, Parc-y-gors and Newcastle [Emlyn]. In February Eliza’s mother becomes seriously ill and is attended by Mr Noot and Dr Jones, Maria also comes to help look after her. In March Eliza records seeing a large comet and having a tooth removed by Mr Noot. In this month Eliza’s mother starts to recover and moves bedrooms, having been confined to her own bedroom for her entire illness. In April the family receive a box of Chinese gifts, sent from Charles in China. In May, Eliza visits ‘Parkygorse’ with the Bucks, Noyadd with her mother, and then Blaenpant. In June, Eliza visits ‘Pengwbert’ where she takes tea on the rocks. She also records: ‘we saw a steamer come in with 150 marines who landed under Penrhyn, on account of the Rebecca disturbances’. Mrs and Sophie Buck leave to visit Bath and the Isle of White in July whilst Eliza and Anne Maria visit New Quay. Catherine and William go to London in August, where they take their son David to see a doctor, as he has been ill ever since he had scarlet fever. In September, Eliza, Ellen, Anne Maria and Chatty all visit ‘Pengwbert’, where they are joined by Mrs Webley Parry and Miss Barber. In October Eliza visits Noyadd, Blaenpant and Parc-y-gors. She also attends a meeting at the Angel Inn to help arrange a school bazaar, before going to Mr Noot’s lodgings in Cardigan for the Hunt Week. Whilst there, she attends a ball which has 70 guests. The bazaar runs for the first four days of November, during which time Eliza, Ellen, Anne Maria and Chatty provide a lot of help. Eliza also attends a book meeting. Throughout the rest of the month Eliza visits Blaenpant, Llangoedmor and Pentre [Manordeifi, north Pembrokeshire]. A curious entry is provided in December stating that ‘the sergeant of the marines came to drill Anne Maria and Chatty.’

1 May: Anna Maria and Chatty came from Dr. Rowlands, over the Athenaeum Club; we then drove to see Tom Thumb at the Egyptian Hall, an American dwarf; 12 years of age; 25 inches high; we then drove to Madame Tussaud’s waxwork exhibition in Baker Street; then to Westminster Abbey and the National Gallery.
2 May: went to the opera; saw Don Giovanni performed; the Polka danced by Perrot and Carlotta Grisi, and the Esmeralda Ballet.
4 May: Maria and I went to the City in the morning; I walked in St. James Park; saw the Queen go to Claremont, and Prince Albert going to dine at the Royal academy; - saw the Duke of Wellington, Lord Palmerston etc.
7 May: went to see the Reform Club.
9 May: Visited House of Commons [description follows]
31 May: Morning concert at the Italian Opera house [performers listed included John Parry, Grisi, Parish Alvars ‘on the harp from Lucrezia Borgia’]
8 June: In the evening we saw the Royal cortege with the Emperor of Russia and the King of Saxony go to and from the opera at night.
1 September: Ellen and I, AM and Chatty walked to Cardigan Church to hear the Bishop of St. Davids preach.
5 September: We saw a Diver go down off the rocks at Gwbert to pick up Iron from the wreck of the ‘Packet’ Sloop.
Diary ends 18 January 1845

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